The World Health Organization (WHO) classification of central nervous system (CNS) tumors incorporates morphology, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, and immunologic markers. Despite the relatively large number of CNS tumors with clonal chromosome abnormalities, only few studies have investigated cytogenetic abnormalities for CNS tumors in Korea. Thus, we investigated 119 CNS tumors by conventional G-banded karyotypes to characterize patterns of chromosomal abnormalities involving various CNS tumors, and 92.4% of them were cultured and karyotyped successfully. Totally, 51.8% of karyotypable CNS tumors showed abnormal cytogenetic results, including neuroepithelial tumors (75.0%), meningeal tumors (71.1%), pituitary adenomas (4.2%), schwannomas (44.4%), and metastatic tumors (100.0%). Glioblastomas had hyperdiploid, complex karyotypes, mainly involving chromosomes Y, 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, and 14. Monosomy 22 was observed in 56.4% of meningiomas. There was a significant increase in the frequencies of karyotypic complexity according to the increase of WHO grade between grades I and II (P=0.0422) or IV (P=0.0101). Abnormal karyotypes were more complex at high-grade tumors, suggesting that the karyotype reflects the biologic nature of the tumor. More detailed cytogenetic and molecular characterizations of CNS tumors contribute to better diagnostic criteria and deeper insights of tumorigenesis, eventually resulting in development of novel therapeutic strategies.